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September 07, 2007

U.S. Policy: Pakistan

Here's a must read op-ed from today's L.A. Times. In "Leave Pakistan Alone," Rajan Menon shows how, once again, the narrow pursuit of US interests ultimately undermines . . . US long term interests. Here's the lede, but check out the whole piece:

As Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, struggles to retain power, the United States finds itself in a familiar predicament, one that illustrates a recurring pathology in its foreign policy. Having yet again cast its lot with a strongman, Washington is confounded now that his political position has become precarious. It's the Anastasio Somoza, shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos dynamic in a different guise. Though Musharraf won't be forced into exile like those friends of Washington, the best he can hope for is to survive the current turmoil with vastly reduced authority.

The Bush administration's problem in Pakistan is that it has had a Musharraf policy but not one that engages the interests and aspirations of Pakistan's citizenry. Pakistanis may have welcomed Musharraf in 1999 when, as army chief, he overthrew the inept and corrupt government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but that enthusiasm has evaporated.

Posted by stevemack at 08:13 AM | Comments (505) | TrackBack

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